Imagine life without clean running water, or without the piece of mind of knowing where your next meal was going to come from. No A/C, no internet, no dishwasher… How about without an ordered government, where people in the streets kill to survive. Got it? Now throw zombies into the mix…
Now when I heard all the hype about this game, I have to say I was a skeptic. I only had a PS3 for the Blu-Ray and buying games for it hadn’t ever crossed my mind, being a loyal Xbox 360 gamer. However, the more I heard about this game from reading reviews online and from friends of mine, I quickly became curious. After 30 minutes of gameplay, I was hooked. Not just because the game was good, but because I was genuinely interested in what happened with the story.
The Last Of Us is a thriller/zombie game set in the future, year 2033, where the player takes control of Joel, a harden smuggler who was there when everything happened. When the apocalypse ensued, and when everyone lost hope. A few hours into the game, you and Tess (pictured below) meet up with a resistance leader named Marlene. She leads the only free group left, known as the Fireflies, who oppose the governments control over the people. The smugglers strike a deal with Marlene, and agree to escort Ellie, the girl on the cover across the nation to a Firefly stronghold. While I won’t dive much more into the story (don’t want to give away any spoilers!) I will say that the rest of the game takes you on a very wild ride. It’s a roller-coaster of emotion to the very end, and you will definitely want to play through again and again.
Gameplay & Graphics
I found the controls for this game to be pretty confusing at first. Half of that was because of how foreign a PlayStation controller was in my hands, but after the first couple of hours I was an expert. The control layout does a great job in helping to control aiming, as well as allowing you the benefit of taking cover. One of the coolest features I saw was when you take cover next to Ellie, Joel actually puts his arm on the other side of her, shielding her almost. This is just one of many examples that really makes you feel just how close these people are to their demise and how survival and smart decision-making is everything. The characters don’t go a minute without the knowledge that around any corner could be their end.
Thanks in part to the amazing graphics this game dishes out, motor controls are awesome while controlling Joel. There is little-to-no lag and you won’t find yourself getting caught on a ledge or stopped by a mystery wall. Like most games, the cut scenes have movie-like quality and it was refreshing that they weren’t just 30 seconds long. Naughty Dog does a great job building on the story-line using these cut scenes and after each one it leaves you excited and anxious keep playing.
Know Your Enemy
As stated in the beginning, this is a zombie game.Keeping that in mind; these are a very different kind of zombie. First of all, they can run, which isn’t fair to begin with. Secondly, they aren’t the “undead” kind of zombie. Rather, these zombies are plagued with an infection that all started from a fungal mutation. This outbreak was because of a mutation of Cordyceps, which is sac fungi that normally attacks insects. In The Last Of Us, said fungi attacks the host’s brain, taking over and severing all humanity the person had, turning them into a mad devouring whirlwind of chaos. Broken down to its Latin roots, Cordyceps comes from the Latin words cord (club) and ceps (head), which explains the picture shown above of one of the main enemies, and annoyances, you’ll find yourself facing throughout the game. They’re called “Clickers”, because they click when inactive, and they can kill you with great ease. Be very careful when tangling with these brutes. Every infected eventually becomes one, if they survive long enough for the infection to grow.
I didn’t spend too much time in Multiplayer (too busy in the campaign), but I do have the general idea of how it works. The “factions” menu is where you will access the online content for this game. Multiplayer is where my “extreme trophies” comment comes into play. In Factions, you take the side of either the Fireflies, or the Hunters. You spends “time” under these factions, gaining loot and bonuses with each level passed or beaten under that faction. One trophy requires you to spend an extended period of time as a streak with a certain faction (21 weeks and 7 days to be exact) and if you are to lose a level or round, you’re timer resets. Kind of ridiculous, isn’t it? But, regardless of the difficulty, Factions is a refreshing break from the mind-stressing story line of the campaign.
By now, I hope I have you sold, or on your way out to pick this game up. Not only will you absolutely get your money out of it thanks to New Game+, the factions multiplayer aspect of the game gives it near limitless playability. If that isn’t enough, play it for the story. It changed the way I thought of how our world might work if the Apocalypse ever were to take place, and gave me down-to-earth look at how things might really be. How ruthless people will act. How being the hero isn’t always the path you wind up walking.
Cheers, fellow gamers! Check out the Official Trailer and see for yourself!
Main Photo: GameTrailers.com